It’s a hot summer’s day. A distraught Artan Kalmendi (Alexej Manvelov) walks into a healthcare centre and kidnaps his estranged wife Louise (Alma Poysti), who works there and demands a car. With police officer Lukas (Fares Fares) at the wheel and Artan holding a gun to his wife’s head, they are soon driving through the Swedish countryside to Louise’s parents’ house, where the couple's daughter is. Along the way, as Artan, who’s an immigrant, and Louise confront their past, we come to know about the complex lives of the three characters. The Swedish film is emotional and heartbreaking. (Netflix)
When a flamboyant millionaire turns up dead at his own birthday celebration in the Scottish Isles, the guests at his party become suspects. The inspector is played by Vidya Balan, reuniting with director Anu Menon after Shakuntala Devi (2020). It’s a fairly derivative locked room mystery, but a bunch of eccentric performances enliven the proceedings. (Amazon Prime)
Set in the 1970s, 12-year-old Margaret is grappling with teenage issues: bras, boys, periods, and religion—her mother (Rachel McAdams) is Christian and father Jewish. When vexed, Margaret turns to god. “Dear god, am getting a bra today. I would like something to put in it please,” she says, when she’s getting her first bra. An adaptation of Judy Blume’s book, it’s an endearing coming-of-age film. (Amazon Prime)
Jia Zhang-ke (Platform, A Touch of Sin), perhaps the greatest living Chinese director, becomes the subject of this 2014 documentary by another great director, Brazil’s Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries). We see Jia in his hometown of Fenyang as he talks about his career, which has tracked the changes in modern-day China. A bonus for Indian fans is hearing the director sing ‘Awara Hoon’ from Raj Kapoor’s classic film. (MUBI)
In Okinawa, Japan, a 94-year-old woman threads a needle, without glasses, in one go. In Nicoya, Costa Rica, Ramira, who is 100 but looks like 70, herds cattle on horseback. In this four-part series, Dan Buettner takes the viewer through the blue zones of Okinawa; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya; and Loma Linda, California, which have the highest concentration of centenarians. Buettner, who has studied the blue zones for two decades, says for a healthier life, it’s important to change the environment. (Netflix)
After an uninterrupted run from the 1980s to the 2000s, the R-rated comedy has ben out of favour in Hollywood for some time now. Gene Stupnitsky’s bawdy No Hard Feelings, which released in theatres in June this year, makes a decent case for its return. Jennifer Lawrence is hilarious as an Uber driver and bartender on the verge of bankruptcy who is promised a new Buick Regal in return for dating a socially awkward 19-year-old boy (Andrew Barth Feldman) by his wealthy parents. (Amazon Prime, rental)
Compiled by Nipa Charagi and Uday Bhatia.